A former Adiloa Store employee in Nuku’alofa, has been locked up.
Kisione Tauvaka, 20, was jailed for three years, six months when he appeared in the Nuku’alofa Supreme Court last week for multiple counts of theft.
Tauvaka pleaded guilty to three counts of serious housebreaking and three counts of theft.
He would only serve six months after Justice Laki Niu suspended three years of his sentence.
The total value of the stolen goods was $22,934.
The stolen goods included burner oven stoves, washing machines, standing fridge, chest freezer, Chinese mats, mountain bikes, Panasonic microwave oven, tent, sewing machine, lights, and burner stoves.
In May 2020 Tauvaka took the key of the Adiloa Store’s Havelu warehouse without permission and used it to break into the building. He stole from it two stoves, three freezers and several floor mats before re-locked the warehouse and took the stolen goods to his home at ‘Utulau.
He returned the key to the Kolomotu’a warehouse without anyone at work knowing what he had done.
In June 2020, he did the same thing twice at the Havelu warehouse. The first one was on 16 June 2020, when he stole washing machines, stoves, freezers and lights. The second stealing was on 18 June 2020 when he took washing machines, stoves, bicycles, freezers and lights
While he was loading up the items on to a white truck he was using on the third occasion of these offences, a passer-by happened to notice what he was doing and reported the matter to the store manager in Kolofo’ou.
He was later identified by the passer-by as the one inside the Havelu warehouse at the time, the court was told.
He admitted what he had done and he went with the police and collected the items which he had taken. Only part of the stolen goods were recovered.
The prisoner appears to have a problem with alcohol and the court was told he stole these properties so that he would sell them “to afford alcohol”.
He was remorseful and cooperated with the police. At one stage he was beaten up by some persons, who were not the police, after he refused to tell the manager of the store where he had hidden the stolen items. He received medical attention after that beating.